Inform about prices, before you get enthousiastic to go to a special show, a ball, a ride with a 'Fiaker' or any other touristic event. This to avoid disappointments, because the prices can be skyhigh! By the way, on the streets there might be people that offer 'discount'-tickets and before you agree to buy ... know about the real price. Some of them call 300% also a discount-offer! (-: Some tickets even do not work at all, as they are fake and can only be bought at official ticketboxes.
if you are also considering the morning exercise sesions as a cheap alternative to the actual Lipizzaner performances in your Vienna trip, DON'T~! the sessions were just looking at jockeys riding the horses with (classical?) music playing in the background and 6 Euros is absolutely not worth it~
When booking the Salzburg tour of Vienna Sightseeing Tours,we were asked which language we wanted and said "German". It was noted on the receipt and we paid almost 100 Euro. However, when we were in the bus and after the tour had started, the tour guide told us that there weren't enough German speaking tourists in the bus, so the tour would NOT be in German. It was in Italian and English. To me that meant I had to do lots of translating, and I'm sure I forgot many details since all this was new to me,too.
I wouldn't have minded if they had told us when signing up for this tour, but nothing was mentioned about a minimum number of people for a language. I guess we were lucky that there were enough Americans in the bus, so the tour was at least given in English. Had there been many Japanese tourists, we would have paid and would have understood nothing.
The tour guide was nice,but she said she couldn't do anything about it, it's the company's policy.They know that tourists are only in Vienna for a short time and once they've got the money, they couldn't care less.
Unique Suggestions: Go with a large group of people who all speak the same language and ask twice, if the tour will be given in your language.
When you walk pass the Opera in the 1st district, you will notice that there will be some people dressed up as Mozart or period costumes and stopping you to ask if you would like to go to a classical concert. You might think that the concert is held in the infamous Opera but far from it. These people are trying to sell overpriced tickets to concerts held in smaller theatres in other parts of towns.
Unique Suggestions: If you still would like to attend a musical concert for a lower (but not cheap) price than the Opera, go ahead and buy a ticket. When you get home, you can always say that you've been to one in Vienna.
This place is advertised as a private collection with all kinds of different exhibitions.
I went only because of Frida Kahlo and of course there was only 1 of her paintings!
The place is out of the center so you will need to take public transportation or car to get there.The address is: An der Donau, AU-1, A-3400 Klosterneuburg/Wien
Unique Suggestions: http://www.sammlung-essl.at/
check out the video room where they also have Diego Riviera murals.
Note> this tip is only for this particular exhibiton.
Fun Alternatives: Albertina
It costs eight euros per person and the installation is a really crappy installation of a couple of crappy photos and paintings. The exhibition is partly in BA-CA Kunstforum on Feyung and partly in Kunsthalle that you have to pay for ---extra! so the exhibition is called SUPERSTARS - from Warhol till Madonna and the poster features Merlin Monroe. So my mom and I attracted by Merlin went in there and hell we were disappointed: only one, yes one! photo of her! And the rest of the works were really crappy. Pardon my french but dont waste your money and time!
Some friends and i went to vienna over the weekend. (1) DO NOT go anywhere by yourself at night. (2) If you see 2 people arguing with each other like a female and a male and he is hitting her, DO NOT interfere. I was walking back by myself to my hotel near San Marco square. I saw 2 people arguing and the male was slapping the female around. I YELLED "STOP!" Well he didn't like that and came after me. We started to fight and he finally decided there was no winning the fight (or so i thought). He went his way with the female and i continued on my way to my hotel. I continued down the back side of the square and noticed a man coming towards me. He acted like he was asking me a question and then out of no where he swung at me and hit me pretty good. Dazed cause of what just happened and confused I fled running and running he ran after me. i later had to jump a fence and go into the water cause i was scared for my life because the man would not giveup. After jumping in the water he realized there was no way he was coming in after me... Security found me and helped me out of the water and called the police for me... The water was very very nasty being that thier plumbing from thier bathrooms and bathubs all run into the water....So you know what that means... I was all cut up from the confrontations and had to be later treated for infections from being in the water...
Unique Suggestions: have a MAP with you
avoid dark alleys
TRAVEL IN PAIRS OR MORE.
remember you are in a different country so its a different world.
carry some type of language translation book
We went to Budapest with Vienna Sight Seeing Tour.
We were very disappointed. There were only 7 of us in the tour. The tour was actually done by Euro Bus company. The bus company uses the same bus for the tour as well as for transporting bus passengers from Vienna to Budapest. The bus had to make a detour to Vienna airport to pick up more passengers.
Upon arriving Budapest, the bus made a detour to Budapest Euro Bus terminal to drop them off.
When returning, we had to wait another half an hour to pick up passengers at Budapest Euro Bus Terminal again and drop them off at Vienna Airport. They also use the same bus to transport cargo., which means more delay.
On the way to Vienna, we had a tour guide who did not provide much information, only pointed out the mountains and lakes to us. Once we arrived in Budapest, we had a local guide, she only spent a short time with us. The tour made 3 stops only: 1) Hero's Sq. 2) one-hour lunch stop 3) Castle District for about 40minutes which is not enough. After that the tour guide left us shopping in down town for 2 hours. We did not stop at the most beautiful building in Budapest - the Parliament. The bus just drove by the parliament.
I suspect Vienna Sight Seeing Tour pays higher commission to agents, so most agents promote Vienna Sight Seeing Tour. Ask agent if they have other tour company. We booked the tour at Westbahnhof Information Desk.
Unique Suggestions: Ask them how many stops they make. Ask for photo time at major location
Fun Alternatives: Book with Royal Tour. In Salzburg, avoid Salzburg Sight Seeing Tour. Go with Bob Tour, so rent a car.
The most important tourist traps in vienna are
Fiaker (the horse carriages you see mostly in the 1st district)
Many Heurige in Grinzing and surroundings (in particular those to which the tourist buses are going)
The ticket sellers on the streets dressed in historical costumes (you get all tickets cheaper at the official ticket offices or directly at the theater counters)
Schönbrunn is jam-packed with tourists - especially the Gloriette Café. If you want to enjoy it at its best and with smaller crowds, go in the early spring.
Fun Alternatives: Instead of the Café at the Gloriette, get the U4 to Hietzing and head for Dommayer.
it´s allways tourist like to try to be in mozart´s era, and vienna knows it well.
It´s pretty to go to a big theather, but i dont especially like to see litle mozarts all over the place playing as if its theather. Maybe not tourist concerts the next time.
Unique Suggestions: enjoy. think it was really like that :)
Fun Alternatives: the spring festivals
Being that Mozart was from Austria and that he is one of the most beloved composers of all time, it was only a matter of time before someone got the idea to put his face and name on a chain of tourist trap shops located all-over Vienna. These shops sell over-priced mozart chocolates, snowglobes, pens and the like; In my opinion, nothing truely amazing is found in any of these shops.
Fun Alternatives: Hit up the stores with unique handicrafts. You'll get something very unique and less mass-produced for around the same price.
Now while these can be a fun and informative way of seeing the city, just be wary of which buggy you pick. Ours had a squeeky wheel that SCREECHED every 5 seconds. People were turning to stare at us as we ambled by. It was embarrassing.
When in Vienna, we decided to end our trip on a high note by saving the Schönbrunn and Hofburg for last. Big mistake!
After having visited Schönbrunn, we had the unfortunate surprise of finding out that the information presented in the headphones at Hofburg was very similar to that presented at Schönbrunn. The feeling of redundancy was accentuated by the fact that nearly all the rooms at Hofburg are decorated in the same fashion (imperial red).
Our ticket also included an entry into the seemingly endless Silberkammer (Silver Chamber), which houses an exhibition of pompous table decorations and silverware.
And let us not forget the Sissimuseum. The museum in itself is not at fault, since it makes an earnest effort to present the real life of Sissi. The only problem is her life is very uninteresting. By the end of the tour, it is obvious movies made her into a cult figure when in fact she is quite undeserving of our attention.
Unique Suggestions: Make sure you're a huge Sissi fan before entering Hofburg. If not, save your time and money and just walk around the palace. I personally liked the Schweizerhof (Swiss Courtyard).
Fun Alternatives: Visit Schönbrunn instead. You'll learn just as much about the Habsburg family and see a much greater variety of room decorations.
In order to see a lot of Vienna in a short amount of time, we took the Vienna hop-on hop-off bus tour. I had taken one in Dublin, but enjoyed it. I didn't really enjoy this one for the following reasons:
1. It was not "open-top" so taking photos through glass usually includes a reflection.
2. There was an audio guide instead of the driver talking. If you had do desire to take pictures, it is okay. However, the audio guide would start just as you are passing the historic monument, which is not early enough to take a photo.
3. The buses come rather infrequently, usually only once per hour.
Fun Alternatives: It's still hard to find an alternative if you want to see a lot of Vienna in a short amount of time. If you do have time, take the U-bahn around.